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Huawei prepares for post-Google era with its own mobile OS ‘Hongmeng’

Huawei’s Hongmeng OS could debut with the Huawei P40 or Mate 30 series.
Huawei’s Hongmeng OS could debut with the Huawei P40 or Mate 30 series. (REUTERS)

Huawei has begun work on replacing Android with its own operating system. Its Hongmeng OS is said to be 60% faster than Google’s Android.

Huawei has begun efforts to become self-reliant following the US government's decision to put the world's largest telecom equipment maker on a trade blacklist. Huawei has trademarked a new mobile operating system, Hongmeng, which it intends to ship by October this year.

Set to launch commercially as ArkOS, Huawei's new mobile OS has been co-developed by Tencent and is said to be 60% faster than the Android system, reports Global Times. Partner companies such as Oppo and Vivo have tested the new operating system as well.

According to a related GSMArena report, Huawei has also begun testing Hongmeng OS-based devices which could range from mobile phones, PCs to cars. The first smartphone with independent Huawei OS could debut with Huawei Mate 30 or P40 series.

Some reports suggest Huawei may also work with Russia's Aurora operating system for Huawei phones. Aurora has been developed by Finland's Jolla which is also the developer of Sailfish OS. A Forbes report said, Huawei is also testing devices with the Aurora pre-installed.

Huawei's Hongmeng OS is expected to replace its Android-based EMUI in case Google is forced to cut off ties with the Chinese company.

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Interestingly enough, Google has sought exemption from the US ban. Google's concerns, however, are that a formidable Android-alternative could prove to be a bad thing for the US. Huawei and other Chinese brands build Google-approved Android OSes for the non-Chinese market. An alternative could lead to the end of Google's monopoly in the mobile operating system segment. Right now, Google's Android is the largest mobile OS in the world followed by Apple's iOS.

The US blacklist has gradually started to take a toll on Huawei. Just this week, it cancelled the launch of a new laptop. Huawei's consumer device chief Richard Yu told CNBC that the company had become "unable to supply the PC". "[It's] unfortunate… [It] depends on how long the Entity List will be there."

Huawei has also said that it will need more time to become the world's largest smartphone maker, a target it had set to accomplish by end of the fourth quarter of this year.

"We would have become the largest in the fourth quarter (of this year) but now we feel that this process may take longer," said Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, without elaborating on reasons.

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